Iran vows to reduce dependence of country's budget on oil to zero

Iran vows to reduce dependence of country
# 11 August 2019 19:56 (UTC +04:00)

New Iranian budget reforms are aimed at eliminating the country's dependence on oil revenues, head of the country's Plan and Budget Organization, Mohammad Bagher Nobakht, said on Sunday, APA reports citing Sputnik.

"Given the difficult times of sanctions, we will be losing a considerable amount of budget resources; therefore, it is necessary to make sure that the reforms in the budget structure for the next year will be able to cut down direct dependency on oil revenues to zero", Nobakht said, as quoted by the Mehr news agency.

He noted that Iran would have needed to reduce its dependence on oil revenues even under normal conditions, without sanctions.

"For the first time, we have taken an important step toward reforming the country’s budget structure", the official added.

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani earlier said that US sanctions would have less effect if Iran depended less on oil revenues. According to the president, a well-built economic structure would allow the authorities to develop a budget without taking oil revenues into account.

In November 2018, US President Donald Trump's administration unveiled the full extent of its sanctions against the Islamic Republic, which targeted its energy, banking, shipping, and aviation sectors.

Eight of Iran’s top oil customers - China, Greece, India, Italy, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and Turkey - were granted waivers that allowed them to temporarily continue buying Iranian oil. Washington explained that these nations had agreed to dramatically reduce oil imports from Tehran.

In April, Washington announced that it would not reissue waivers for Iranian oil importers after their expiry on May 2.

Tensions between Iran and the United States soared when Trump, a long-time critic of the historic Iran nuclear deal, pulled out of the agreement in May 2018. It took Washington less than a year to reinstate sweeping sanctions against the Islamic Republic.